Robin’s back today, and what separates Wenger from Wayne Rooney?

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The answer of course is although we know that Wenger tells lies (he said so) and he shags around, we look at morons like shrek and go tut, tut, so what the difference between the two of them? Well the difference is, Arsene didn’t pay for it. So he has the moral high ground, let’s leave it there.

Robin Van Persie is set for a shock early return, is this because he’s suddenly and mysteriously fit, or is this because he’s been fit for sometime and our manager has been his usual overly cautious self? I think because Robin has declared himself fit for Holland, Wenger has decided to play him ahead of his own overly cautious schedule. That’s my take anyway, otherwise why would he be suddenly playing with no notice.

We’ll find out today no doubt, either way it promises to be a fun day, we need to win to keep up with the lucky Mancs, so we can’t be doing anything other than going for the jugular from the off, we’ve seen what they can do if they get their noses in front, we should attack from the off.

I said yesterday I fully expect a big win, if Robin comes on I hope he scores a blinder, gets a slight knock and misses the Nederlands game, that would be poetic, by a knock, I mean gets a leg graze from his sock. That’ll be 2 weeks out for our super cautious manager.

Arsene it’s a shame you weren’t so cautious in Paris Arsene! You might be enjoying your kippers a bit more this morning if you were!


Sagna Djourou Squillaci Koscielny

Wilshere Cesc Nasri

Theo Chamakh Arshavin

Go on Arsene, try that midfield and drop Clichy. Have a great day Grovers, I think we’ll get a little closer to the chavs today and go back into second, at least we are putting daylight between us, the Northern chavs and the spuds.

Diaby isn’t the Arsenal player he was, so why play him then? Transfer budget bombshell

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The obvious answer to that question is why keep playing him then? I have always liked Diaby and believe there is a player in there waiting to burst out, but how long do we wait? He’s always injured yet the minute he’s available, he’s back in the team, sorry but that makes no sense to me, you should be in the team on merit not reputation, always play your best team Arsene.

Well tomorrow sees the return of the barcodes, for some reason every neutral’s favourite underdog team, well we stuffed them with our youth team at their gaff, so I expect nothing other than a big win, the team need to get back on track and I expect they are desperate to get back to winning ways after the criticism of the Champions league game in midweek.

Theo is talking the big one, let’s hope he has a blinder tomorrow I have high hopes for Walcott and all this Gareth Bale shite all week has been so over the top so I hope Theo goes out to show the media world who the real daddy is. Though I do wonder with our great scouting network why we didn’t buy Bale at the same time we bought Theo, they were both in the same team and Bale was a lot cheaper. Hmmmm!

Let’s hope tomorrow we take this team apart, let’s give them a real thumping, we need the confidence boost, we have the mancs coming up soon so it would be nice to get a run going again. Hopefully we’ll have Robin back for this one, he really does need to tell Holland he won’t be coming to play, to make his return for them before he does for us will be an absolute joke, I hope he sees it the same way.

Talking of fireworks, last evening was Guy Fawkes night, also known as Bonfire night or Fireworks day. In this world of political correctness, where you can’t smoke in pubs, Conker trees need warning signs pinned on them, bottles of bleach have to have don’t drink warning labels on them, and criminals get the vote I wonder how many people know why and what they are celebrating. Well I do!

Don’t get me wrong, he was a bad guy, he was the historical equivalent of a terrorist as he tried to killed 300 people in a cowardly way, but he was tortured on the rack, then hung, drawn and quartered with his bits burnt in a brazier, it just seems odd that we still celebrate it with our children each year. In fact Fireworks day is a big thing in the calendar for kids and only finishes second to Christmas and birthdays!

I used to have a stuffed dummy and stand on street corners in the East end collecting a penny for the Guy, my mother called it begging and forbade me to do it, I still did it and used her clothes on the dummy so I got her back! At the end of the evening of the 5th, the Guy would always be tossed on the bonfire and ceremoniously burned.

Let’s burn the barcodes tomorrow, let’s give them the roasting of their lives, let’s give them a real welcome to the premiership, let’s toss them on the bonfire! 5 nil the Arsenal.

Apparently there is a big story on our leader in the papers today, I hope we aren’t going to find out he has been spending the transfer budget after all!

Have a great day Grover, tomorrow we avenge Sunderland.

P.S. I have 3 spare club levels, e-mail or get me on twitter @arsenal_legrove

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What is the real cost of a home grown Arsenal player then? Written by a home grown Arsenal blog!

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Todays post is the result of one or two conversations on the blog yesterday, it got me thinking hmmm, what is the real cost of buying youth players? I guess they’ll be a few telling me my figures and assumptions are wrong, so I have tried to put in the published figures, those that I read on or like minded media.

Some of the figures are assumptions, like early salaries, but image rights I have no idea about so I didn’t put them in, but go with it, it’s quite surprising!

Okay, we bought Theo for £8mil (eventually) I suspect he was on £25k a week in those days, so 3 years on that and 2 years on £60k a week is what? A cool £18mil or thereabouts.

So we’ve so far paid £18mil for a 21 year old that’s not a guaranteed starter and has just began to show why we bought him. That’s £18million folks and that doesn’t include his image rights or add ons. So another 2 years at a paltry £60k a week will mean Theo, by the time he gets to Cesc’s age would have cost us at least £24.24million.

Now take young Jack, been with us since he was 9, that’s 9 years of training, kits, education and so on, he’s probably been on £20k a week for the last two years so if we said our investment in him is £5mil to date, and that’s not unreasonable. Ok, he just signed a 5 year contract worth £13mil, within 2 years that would have doubled to keep him, so by the time he’s Cesc’s age, he would have cost us £25.8mil and that doesn’t include image rights or bonuses.

So the two players I’ve illustrated have or would have set us back somewhere in the region of £50 million, for two 23 year olds, imagine Wenger spending that now?

Don’t misunderstand me, I think they are both top, top players and I love them, but…

Now, if you add Denilson, Vela, Song and all the other so called freebies brought in under the cloak of project youth, you’ll see where I’m going with this. We put players in the team for years before they are good enough and it costs us, Wednesday night was an example with Eastmond, then if they get good they want out as was the case with Anelka, Flamini and of course last summer with Cesc, and we are told that to buy ready mades like Van der Vaart (as an example) would end up ruining Arsenal football club, well how? Because in my book we’ve been spending the same for years in another way anyway!

The sort of howler Clichy made this week is happening more often than not these days, I don’t remember Winterburn, Sansom or Cole doing it that often. Gibbs is always injured, maybe we need to look outside, it’s not a crime boss.

At least a ready to go would be ready to go, like Chamakh, Squillaci, Vermaelen and Koscielny.

So to sum up, this isn’t a rant, it’s a question, the boss has many admirers of project youth out there, but is it cost effective? Or is the cost the same?

When Arsene goes into the market, he is extremely good at it, Arshavin, Pires, Henry and Gilberto are recent examples, the cost of those players against the cost of youth development are negligible, and before you say but look at their salaries, by the time our kids get to that age, the salaries are no different.

The advantage of buying ready mades is just that, we don’t have to wait.

So that’s it, tell me I’m wrong, but the figures aren’t far off, the myth of project youth laid bare.

As I said, when Arsene buys older players, he rarely goes wrong, I think we need a DM and a winger in January, especially if Theo moves inside, as far as Robin is concerned, if he goes with Holland, he is a disgrace and we should sell him, great player and I love him, but this is taking the piss.

Have a great day grovers, something to think about today!

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